Friday, May 17, 2024
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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Fernandez Ranch

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Note that children 14 and over are welcome on V-O-Cal projects. Volunteers under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Project Background and Description

V-O-Cal is set to continue enhancing the trails at the stunning 1185-acre Fernandez Ranch, a part of the John Muir Land Trust which encompasses the area formerly known as "Franklin Canyon". Fernandez Ranch boasts over 10 miles of multi-use trails, offering vital links to the Bay Area Ridge Trail and the San Francisco Bay Trail. The ranch serves as a habitat for an array of wildlife, including deer, coyotes, woodrats, American badgers, the endangered Alameda whipsnake and California red-legged frogs, numerous species of songbirds, woodpeckers, raptors, and (occasionally) mountain lions.
Our focus will be on rerouting the Canyon Loop Trail to bypass an old ranch road that becomes impassably muddy after rain. The redesigned trail will meander through forests, across grasslands and into a quaint buckeye grove and features a 5% decrease in elevation and several grade reversals.
More info about:
Fernandez Ranch
More about what it is like to volunteer on a project:
Volunteer

Project Pictures

Help recruit more volunteers! Download the project flyer here

Project Flyer

Camp

Driving Directions

Map Link

Carpool/Parking Information

Level of Effort

Project Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet
If a parking pass is required at the project site, it will be included with the fact sheet.

Project Schedule

(tentative)

Friday
5:00pm - Registration and camping open. DINNER IS NOT PROVIDED.

Saturday
7:30am - Registration, light breakfast, and lunch packing begin at Center Camp.
8:30 am – Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk.
9:00 am – Project begins.
12:30pm - Break for lunch on trail.
3:30 pm – Stop work and return to camp. Clean and store tools.
4:00 pm – Snacks, cold drinks and beer.
6:00 pm – Dinner. 

Sunday
7:30am - Registration and lunch packing begin. Hot breakfast is served.
8:30 am – Morning greeting, announcements, stretching and safety talk.
9:00 am – Project begins.
1:30pm - Stop work, clean tools, load tools into boxes and return to camp.

Things to Do Before or After the Project

What to Bring and Wear

For your safety and protection from hazards, please be prepared with the following items:
  • Sturdy shoes or boots with good tread. Ankle support will be important where we are building new trails. Sandals and open-toed shoes will not be permitted
  • Water bottles or a water bladder that can hold at least 2 liters of water. (You will not be allowed on the trail without water.)
  • Day pack to carry your water and lunch.
  • Work gloves. (If you don’t have your own gloves, V-O-Cal will provide them. Please return them at the end of the project.)
  • V-O-Cal provides all necessary tools, as well as training on tool use and safety.
  • Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen.
  • Insect repellent and allergy medicine (if you normally need these things when working outdoors).
  • Reusable plate/bowl, eating utensils, and mug/cup.
  • A change of clothes for each work day and for lounging at camp to minimize the spread of poison oak.
  • Please come prepared for a variety of weather conditions (think layers!). Unless there is a serious storm predicted, we will work drizzle or shine.
If you are camping, you will also need the following items: 
  • A tent (if you have the option to bring a smaller tent, please do!)
  • A sleeping bag, sleeping pad and pillow.
  • A flashlight or headlamp.
  • A camp chair (if you don't want to sit on the ground).
  • Other camping gear that makes you comfortable

Meals

V-O-Cal provides all meals for volunteers from breakfast Saturday through lunch Sunday. Vegetarian options are available for all meals. (Please note that dinner is not provided on Friday.)
  • To minimize waste we ask that you bring your own reusable plates, coffee mug, cups and utensils. Hot water and soap are provided.
  • A continental breakfast is served Saturday morning.
  • Lunch is prepared before hitting the trail. You break for lunch on the trail around 12:30pm.
  • Please arrive at camp by 7:40am to register, eat breakfast and prepare your lunch.
  • Appetizers and beverages will be available after the work day on Saturday, usually around 4pm. Dinner will follow, usually around 5:30pm.
  • Hot breakfast is served Sunday morning.

Hazards

SUN EXPOSURE | HYDRATION | HYPOTHERMIA Please plan for sun protection, including sun hats, sun block and light long sleeve shirts. Please bring water bottles or a water bladder large enough to hold at least 2 liters of water. Drink plenty of water throughout the work day. If you feel tired or weak, let your crew leader know, and take a break.

POISON OAK There are limited areas of poison oak. Have your crew leader point some out to you if you don’t know what it looks like. “Bunny suits” will be provided for those who need extra protection. Clean with Tecnu (which V-O-Cal provides) after the work day, and be cautious when handling your dirty clothes. Always wear gloves when handling tools.

TICKS | MOSQUITOES | YELLOW JACKETS Ticks are always a hazard so it is important to check during and after the project. Bring bug repellent for mosquitoes or wear thick clothing. Stay calm around yellow jackets. Most will leave us alone. Crew leaders have first aid kits to help in case of bites/stings.

SNAKES Rattlesnakes can be present but likely will be scared away by the large number of volunteers. If you see one, tell your crew leader, and wait until it leaves the area before proceeding.

SHARP TOOLS Please listen to your crew leader’s tool safety talk and observe proper tool use throughout the day.

Volunteer Project Team

  • V-O-Cal Executive Director Cathy Moyer
  • Project Team Lead Joe Cavaness | Eliot Hudson

Agency Partner

Muir Heritage Land Trust

Project Sponsors

Help recruit more volunteers! Download the project flyer here

Project Flyer

Other Upcoming Projects

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